Rawr! Was that your dog growling at you? Was it the sound of your creaky kitchen drawer being opened? Was it Sabretooth?!
No, that was just us typing out an animal noise. If that sound actually was your dog growling at you, you would politely ask it to stop being so grumpy. If it was the sound of someone opening up a kitchen drawer to fetch a fork, you wouldn’t pay any thought to it whatsoever. However, if that sound meant that Sabretooth was standing behind you, then you probably wouldn’t have time to think about anything at all before you would find yourself lying motionless in three separate pieces in your living room. Because when Sabretooth is standing behind you, it usually means that he wants to kill you. And if Sabretooth wants to kill you, it usually means that you’re going to die. It’s as simple as that.
Being a fairly prominent yet ultimately marginal character of the X-Men series, we tend to accept and appreciate any background information about Sabretooth that we are given, and we usually don’t question much of it. However, after a little bit of thought, we realize that there isn’t really much that we know about the big hairball. He just appears on the screen and unabashedly rips things apart. That’s a fine enough character role, and there really isn’t much more to ask for. However, since we have nothing better to do, we thought we’d dig up a few hidden bits of trivia on man’s best friend: Sabretooth.
15. He Remembers Killing His Brother Over A Piece Of Pie
If you have a sibling, you’re probably well aware of the conflicts that come with that sort of relationship. Sisters will play tug of war over a Barbie doll until its head pops off and brothers will throw each other to the ground as they race to win the front seat of a car ride. There’s really no shortage of arguments that can happen between siblings, especially if you’re an enraged, wolf-like mutant boy. Sabretooth’s memories have been messed with so often over the years, it’s hard for even the mutant himself to remember exactly what his life was like when he was younger. However, he does get strong flashes of memories linking back to his early life. One of these memories revolves around Sabretooth actually killing his elder brother Luther. The cause of this murder? A piece of pie, of course. You might have pushed and shoved your own brother to gain access to the Play Station when you were younger, but you probably didn’t brutally murder him because you wanted to eat his delicious pie.
14. He Had An Abusive Childhood
Although we know relatively little about Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth, the character is widely believed to have suffered an abusive childhood. His father, who was apparently on the conservative side when it came to mutants, was disgusted by the boy’s hair, fangs and claws. He would often beat Victor and chain him up in the horrific darkness of their home’s basement. Our hearts go out to any person, fictional or real, who had to go through difficult, violent upbringings. Mutants, in particular, are given atrocious treatment in the X-Men universe, and that treatment is made several shades more grim when it’s coming from family. Although we don’t know much about Sabretooth, we can most likely say that his abrasive demeanor was derived in large part from the abuse shown to him by his own father. What Victor was left behind in the midst of those walloppings was a child, leaving room for the birth of Sabretooth.
13. He Was A Hired Assassin
If you were to one day discover that you were in fact a mutant superhuman with powers that turn you into a wolf-like mega-being, what would you make of your career prospects? You could work at a Starbucks, though chances are that your excessive body hair will eventually land in someone’s caramel macchiato. You could also become a flight attendant, although most people would probably dislike the thought of being stuck 25,000 feet in the air with someone who looks and acts a lot like a werewolf. Eventually, you would go down the list of career prospects only to land on a job as a hired assassin. That’s what happened to Sabretooth, and he was a good fit for the job, garnering a worldwide reputation for his assassination skills. At one point in his assassination career, the mysterious Foreigner, head of the 1400 Club assassination guild, took Sabretooth under his wing. Foreigner would go on to be one of the few men that Sabretooth respected, and that respect would prove to be a mutual one.
12. He Had A Child With Mystique
During an epic mission in Germany in the early 1960s, Sabretooth met and fell into an affection with Leni Zauber, who Sabretooth believed to be an operative working for an unnamed government agency. As Sabretooth would later realize, Zauber was actually the shape-shifting mutant known to the world as Mystique. We’ve all been duped by a neo-noir damsel in our days, but never have we been so deceived as to not notice that the object of our affection is actually a blue shapeshifter who has no problem taking advantage of those around her. Anyway, after a month-long fling, Sabretooth and “Zauber” broke things off, and he went on to become a world-renowned assassin. However, decades later, Sabretooth would again find himself twirled around her finger, and this time their fling would end in the birth of a child. This child would grow up to be Graydon Creed, famous anti-mutant activist. Go figure.
11. He Beat Wolverine In Their First Fight
Wolverine versus Sabretooth has been an iconic mini-series within the X-Men universe, with Wolverine tending to get the slight edge over the crazy wolf-man. However, when this ancient rivalry first started, Sabretooth was the one who came out on top. While Sabretooth was living in a little Canadian frontier community in the 1910’s, he met Wolverine, who happened to be caught in a romantic affair with an Indian girl named Silver Fox. Not approving of their relationship one bit, and driven by his desire to seek dominance over Wolverine, who resembled him in ways no other man did, Sabretooth cornered Silver Fox one night, sexually assaulting her and leaving her behind, apparently dead (although it would later be revealed that she survived). Upon discovering this, Wolverine fought Sabretooth with all of his might, but he was ultimately defeated by the beastly wolf-man.
10. He Has A Losing Fighting Record Against Wolverine
Although Sabretooth might have found the initial upper hand in his long rivalry with Wolverine, our beloved Logan is the one who ultimately comes out on top here. Although Wolverine left that initial early 20th-century battle completely defeated, he would later learn from his mistakes in battle and come out on top in his fights against Sabretooth more often than not. For instance, Wolverine and Sabretooth fought multiple times during the Mutant Massacre, and at the end of it all, Wolverine emerged victorious. Later, while Sabretooth was being held in captivity in the X-Mansion by Professor Charles Xavier, who was endeavoring to help the manic mutant overcome his bloodlust, Sabretooth eventually escaped his prison only to be confronted by Wolverine. Of course, the two engaged in a fight to the death, which ended in Wolverine almost lobotomizing Sabretooth when he jammed one of his claws into Sabretooth’s brain. Oh, and there’s that one time where Wolverine literally tore Sabretooth’s heart out. Yeesh.
9. He Stalks Wolverine On His Birthday (Every Year)
A friend’s birthday is a reason to get together and celebrate. An enemy’s birthday is something to be ignored entirely. A rival’s birthday, however, is a complicated thing. At least, it is for Sabretooth. At some point in his long life, Sabretooth decided that he would commit to the side-quest of stalking Wolverine every year on the day that Wolverine thought to be his birthday. No matter what Wolverine does on his birthdays (we assume it’s mostly just a barbecue), Sabretooth hides in the shrubs, unseen, presumably just looking at Wolverine and growling. This annual stalking is relatively harmless, since Sabretooth doesn’t do anything to disturb the festivities. But it’s still pretty disturbing. Nonetheless, Sabretooth’s actions indicate just how strong his hatred and infatuation with Wolverine is. Like any stalker, Sabretooth is preoccupied with thoughts of how to beat Wolverine, not necessarily considering what he is losing (his mind) in the process.
8. He Was Strangely Converted To The Good Side
During the AXIS period, Sabretooth was chosen by Magneto as one of the recruits to help fight against Red Skull and his Sentinels. During that time, a huge Inversion wave was caused by Doctor Doom, Scarlet Witch, and Doctor Strange. Following the Inversion wave, several superheroes and supervillains had their attitudes effectively… inverted. The inherent evil within several supervillains was transformed to inherent good, and Sabretooth was no exception. Granted a new perspective on life, Sabretooth immediately found himself regretting all of the horrific acts that he committed in the past and sought to rectify all of his wrongdoings. He donned an outfit that looked a lot like Wolverine’s and set himself on a hero’s path. At the end of the event, several of the Inverted characters returned to normal, but Sabretooth was one of the few to remain Inverted. He proceeds to surrender himself willingly to the authorities, and we last see him in prison thinking about how best to emulate Wolverine.
7. He Was Written As A Recurring Villain For Iron Fist
Sabretooth was conceptualized by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in August of 1977. His first ever appearance was made in Iron Fist issue 14, in which Iron Fist and Colleen Wing are attempting to survive the numerous threats and merciless snowstorms of the Canadian wilderness. Sabretooth appears in the issue as a formidable antagonist to Iron Fist, holding Jeryn Hogarth prisoner. The issue proved successful (though it would later only be regarded as iconic due to it being the first full on-panel appearance of Sabretooth), and Claremont and Byrne intended to keep rolling with the character of Sabretooth as a recurring antagonist for Iron Fist. However, as we all know, things in the writing room have a tendency to change. Our beloved Sabretooth was seen as a character with a lot of potential content to uncover, so he was re-conceptualized as a key side figure to the series.
6. He Was Once Written As Wolverine’s Brother
In this case, it would appear that the writing team behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine took a few creative liberties when penning the film’s script. By that we mean that they chose to add saccharine, painfully easy storyline elements to the film with the apparent intention of creating a shockwave of gasps amid the X-Men community. For example, they wrote their version of Sabretooth to be the long-estranged brother of Wolverine. Adverse to the presumed effect that the filmmakers were going for, all this story element did was give X-Men fans worldwide the strong impulse to scratch the top of their skulls with their index fingers. Because, historically, Sabretooth never has been and never will be Wolverine’s brother. He has always been and will always be Wolverine’s obsessive, psychotic, bloodthirsty rival-stalker, and anyone opting to spin their own X-Men tale should take great care to respect that.
5. He Received The Adamantium Treatment (Twice)
Adamantium is every comic book nerd’s favorite fictional metal alloy, and it’s usually associated with Wolverine. The metal runs through Wolverine’s bone structure and extends into the three-pronged claws on each of his hands. However, what many X-Men fans may not know is that Sabretooth was also given the adamantium makeover; twice. The first time was through undisclosed circumstances prior to Sabretooth attacking Wolverine while he was being wed to the Viper. The adamantium was then removed from his body by Apocalypse. The second time, Sabretooth was captured by the Weapon X program, and the metal alloy was once again fused to his skeleton. Sabretooth would go on to act as the Weapon X Program’s key agent, recruiting other former members of the program back into the fray. One might think that a ferocious, super strong werewolf man would be made even more deadly with the addition of adamantium to his bone structure, and one would probably be right.
4. He Was In The Brotherhood Of Mutants
The Brotherhood of Mutants (formerly known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) is the notorious team of supervillains who are wholly devoted to the idea that mutants are objectively superior to regular human beings. They are the main antagonists to the X-Men and they mean business. Although the ideology of the Brotherhood of Mutants changes depending on which incarnation we’re talking about, they tend to be consistently against the views and actions of the X-Men. Their roster contains an absolutely horrifying number of deadly mutants with incredible powers, one of them being our furry friend Sabretooth. He once joined a version of the Brotherhood of Mutants (headed by Mystique at the time) in order to help them release a widespread virus that would infest the population of normal human beings. The mission failed, and Sabretooth would go on to be captured by the remodeled Weapon X program.
3. He’s The Reason For Psylocke’s Crimson Dawn Tattoo
Every X-Men fan has their own opinion of each mutant that appears in the series, and this extends to Psylocke as well. Some hate her, some love her, others give her some attention when she appears on screen, but don’t otherwise pay a thought to her (I happen to belong to the latter camp, by the way). Regardless, when we talk about Psylocke, we’re usually talking about one of two versions of the mutant; Psylocke before the Crimson Dawn tattoo and Psylocke after the Crimson Dawn tattoo. After receiving the Crimson Dawn tattoo, Psylocke was given access to a whole host of new powers, along with a new colder, more distant personality. Sabretooth is actually the main reason that she got that tattoo, which is to say that he is the main reason that the “new” Psylocke even exists. Sabretooth, in his trademark fashion, brutally beat Psylocke to within an inch of her life, and left her for dead. In response, Wolverine, Archangel, and Doctor Strange traveled to the Crimson Dawn dimension in order to acquire a potion for Psylocke that would save her life, among other things. That potion left a mark on Psylocke, which is the tattoo we see on her face.
2. He Once Was A Zombie
The year is 2149, the planet is Earth. There is a pesky virus in the air that has turned our favorite Marvel Heroes into zombies. Our dear, itchy, crazy friend Sabretooth is one of those heroes. Having been infected with this virus, Sabretooth was part of the zombified group of villains that were recruited to attack Galactus, the world-swallowing super-villain with little allegiance to anyone but himself. Sabretooth Zombie would eventually go on to die valiantly in the battle, making it the first time comic book fans were sad that a villain zombie who hates Wolverine was killed. Nonetheless, in comic book world, the legend of a character lives on forever. Here is a tangential, but fun fact: in researching this piece, I discovered that there is actually a band called Sabertooth Zombie hovering around the interwebs. This is just further evidence of Sabretooth’s appeal beyond what is just shown in his periodic cameos in movies.
1. The Only Constant In His Life Is His Hatred For Wolverine
Poor, hairy old Sabretooth has to constantly deal with major life changes happening all around him, all the time. Really, we have no idea how the man adjusts to his constantly shifting circumstances. There seems to be something new every week of his life that throws him into totally unfamiliar grounds. If it’s not his memories being altered, it’s his loyalty shifting to a different organization. If it’s not that, it’s something else entirely. Really, when you think about it, the only thing anchoring Sabretooth to any sort of personal identity is his inherent loathing of Wolverine. There’s just nothing else in his life that he feels more strongly about, and there is no other thought that comes to his mind on a daily basis other than the image of him tearing Wolverine’s body to pieces. He might not know what his upbringing was like; he might not know how he got home last night; he might not know who he’ll be working for next week, but he sure as hell knows that he does not like Wolverine, like, at all. Not one bit.